Bombers' Pierce tries to keep focus on football

Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Buck Pierce speaks to reporters during practice at Canad Inns Stadium,...

Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Buck Pierce speaks to reporters during practice at Canad Inns Stadium, August 21, 2011. (Jason Halstead/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The last thing Buck Pierce wants is his contract status to become a distraction.

Pierce's agent, Brian Cox, told the Sun last week that his client is an elite CFL quarterback and should be paid accordingly. Pierce is in the option year of his contract.

"When you talk about the upper-echelon quarterbacks in the CFL, Buck is now in that category," Cox said Thursday.

Pierce was unaware his agent had granted the Sun an interview, finding out about it when he read Paul Friesen's column the next day. Pierce, who has stayed healthy and guided the Bombers to a 6-1 record, would rather concentrate on football.

"The main thing for us is to keep our focus where we are and what we're doing on the field," Pierce said. "Any time you get into those kind of things, sometimes it can be negative towards our goal as an organization.

"In my mind right now, I'm moving forward to win more ball games."

Cox said the Bombers will need to come to the table at some point to talk contract extension and that the longer the team waits the more beneficial it will be for Pierce's wallet.

"Those things are really things that we're not too concerned about at this point in time," Pierce said. "If we're to go forward and continue our success on the field, it's important that that stuff be put off for another time."

When asked if he agreed with his agent that he was elite-level CFL quarterback, the Bomber PR staff tried to put an end to the line of questioning.

"I feel that I'm a good quarterback in this league," said Pierce, whose 94.4 quarterback rating is fourth-best in the CFL. "What has to be seen is still yet to be seen. So I think we can leave it at that."

Pierce, who spent part of the bye week in Grand Forks, N.D., feels it's critical for the league-leading Bombers to keep the momentum going.

"At this point in the season you start to see teams start to figure it out and see teams getting better and better," Pierce said. "You look at B.C. last week. They looked great. So teams will start to rise.

"We have to make sure that we stay mentally tough and continue to rise along with the rest of the league."

The Bombers host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-3) on Friday.

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